Entertainment Industries Council is proud to salute our nation’s veterans. The sacrifices these men and women have made are honorable and unsurpassed, yet the battle does not end when American soil returns beneath their feet. In fact, the threats they face at home are just as real as the threats they face overseas. Sadly, some of our veterans suffer from homelessness and mental illness, both of which are debilitating and life-threatening. EIC recognizes that this is not acceptable, and is working hard to bring the power and influence of the entertainment industry to bear on this unfortunate reality.
Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide are issues that demand more attention due to their devastating effects – both to the veterans and their loved ones. EIC has answered this call for attention with numerous successful publications. “Picture This: Veteran Mental Health Challenges and Solutions” shines a light on the severity of mental health disorders, as well as put a strong emphasis on recovery. EIC has also released Spotlight On publications addressing veterans with mental illnesses. The “Depicting Veteran Mental Health Challenges and Solutions” series includes two installments, “Finding Hope” and “Seeking Help.” Both provide excellent guidelines to producing creative and powerful storylines that encourage change.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there is an estimated 57,849 homeless veterans without shelter on any given night. Over 500 of these veterans are hosted in the city of Chicago. EIC took action regarding this alarming number by publishing “Picture This: Ending Homelessness Among Veterans in Chicago.” The Picture This program gathers experts and policymakers to improve public awareness and reduce stigma in their areas of expertise. Along with collaborator FOX 32, EIC strategically identified the top priorities for implementing change within this important population.
In addition to Picture This, EIC has released a series of Spotlight On publications to continue the conversation on veteran homelessness. Spotlight On is an informative weekly newsletter that fosters accurate and creative depictions of health and social topics in the entertainment industry. “Spotlight On: Depicting Homelessness Among Veterans” consists of 8 installments that serves as a valuable resource for the creative community.
EIC’s annual PRISM Awards recognizes outstanding work that both accurately and creatively depicts mental health and substance abuse in entertainment. As the number of military-focused award recipients grew, EIC felt that a special tribute needed to be made to the heroic servicemen and women that help shape our nation. The 16th annual PRISM Awards featured banners and signs that represented each branch of the military, a color guard performance, and a video of the Golden Knight parachute team skydiving while holding a PRISM Awards banner. The event created a much-deserved theme of honor, gratitude, and awareness about the commendable actions of our finest and bravest Americans.
EIC is also proud to sit on the Steering Committee of the “Got Your 6” campaign, an effort that involves nearly every broadcast and cable network to help create new conversation about veterans and military families. The PSA for the campaign features celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Bradley Cooper, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Pharrell.
Entertainment Industries Council would like to sincerely thank each and every active and former service member for their service and sacrifice. Without them, society as we know it would not exist. This nation is in tremendous debt to its veterans, but through “encouraging the art of making a difference,” we hope to repay some of that debt.